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Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve

Certificate of Excellence
Nature & wildlife areas, Nature & Parks
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Address: 505 Guana River Road, Ponte Vedra Beach, FL 32082
Phone Number: (904) 823-4500
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Today
9:00 am - 4:00 pm
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Hours:
Sun - Sat 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
Description: The Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve (GTM...
The Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve (GTM Research Reserve) is dedicated to the conservation of natural biodiversity and cultural resources through research and monitoring to guide science-based stewardship and education strategies. The GTM Research Reserve was formed through a collaboration of Florida's Department of Environmental Protection and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. It covers 74,000 acres of coastal lands in northeast Florida from Ponte Vedra Beach to Palm Coast. The GTM Research Reserve is part of a national system of research reserves that focus on research, education and stewardship. The GTM Research Reserve has a 21,000 square foot Environmental Education Center which includes interpretive exhibits, aquariums, classrooms, teaching and working laboratories, an auditorium and an outdoor amphitheater overlooking the Guana River Aquatic Preserve. Education staff offer programming for all ages on the importance of estuarine ecosystems. A Coastal Training Program offers training for professionals on issues of concern in our local community including watershed, invasive plants and much more.
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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 63 reviews
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  • 19
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Most recent review
Lovely live oaks

Wonderful spot for a hike or just a walk. Well marked trails are easy to navigate. I like to take binoculars to look for wildlife and birds in this lovely, natural setting... read more

5 of 5 starsReviewed February 20, 2015
Mary W
,
Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida
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63 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Date | Rating
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English first
Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 attraction reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 20, 2015

Wonderful spot for a hike or just a walk. Well marked trails are easy to navigate. I like to take binoculars to look for wildlife and birds in this lovely, natural setting. Always enjoy a visit to the Education Center

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Jacksonville, Florida
Top Contributor
173 reviews 173 reviews
34 attraction reviews
135 helpful votes 135 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 18, 2015

This Center is very active in research about Estuarine fauna, flora, climate change, etc... There is a small museum, good for kids, with some interactive activities. Small nominal fee, I don't remember exactly but it may be $2 pp. Count 45' for a visit. Beyond the museum is the huge reserve on the Intracoastal waterway. To access the parking lot,... More 

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Ocean City, New Jersey
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
3 attraction reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 15, 2015

I was looking for a place to run other than the beach or busy A1A. This is a natural habitat with well marked trails and plenty of options. Take your time, walk the dog or go for a run. Most trails have a natural canopy and are hard packed sand or pine needles. Easy to navigate. There is a $3... More 

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Winnipeg, Canada
Senior Contributor
40 reviews 40 reviews
7 attraction reviews
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 13, 2015

A wild armadillo smelled my sandal today...we were on a long walk (at least 2.5 miles on winding rough trails through The Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve in Vilano Beach) I spotted the armadillo rooting in the leaf duff and slowly went closer. He actually come to me and smelled my sandal... then put his nose in the... More 

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Top Contributor
97 reviews 97 reviews
31 attraction reviews
50 helpful votes 50 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 13, 2015

This nature reserve is about 5-6 miles north of St A on A1A Hwy. Admission is $3. Good parking. Fishing good. About 4 one to two mile loops of nature walks with the central yellow path taking you to the inner waterway. Good interpretive stops along the way. Bring tick repellent if you stray off the main path!

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Edwardsville, Illinois, United States
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
12 attraction reviews
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 19, 2015

A great stop we came upon while out driving! It was $3.00 to get in and park. There were several trails to choose from. We sent on the 1 mile (yellow trail), which took us through the habitat on a very nice, wide trail, down to the river. Plenty of room for both walkers, joggers and bikers! It was a... More 

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Durham, North Carolina
Top Contributor
341 reviews 341 reviews
152 attraction reviews
219 helpful votes 219 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 13, 2015

We came across this park when we drove from Jax to St Augustine (via A1A). Only a few dollars for entrance. They have a nice little center where you can read some information about the park or look for some birds. You can park your car near the entrance of the walking area. Different paths to take. Unfortunately some part... More 

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Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida
Top Contributor
63 reviews 63 reviews
12 attraction reviews
37 helpful votes 37 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 8, 2015

The park is actually much larger and diverse than most people imagine. There is a great secluded beach section with 3 separate parking areas, an information center, and trails through the park to Guana Lake and the Intracoastal Waterway. Wonderful bike trails, good fishing, small boat launches at Six Mile Landing and at the Dam provide much to do. It... More 

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Jacksonville, Florida
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 attraction reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 6, 2015

We so enjoyed the tour by Bill and Doug. The two hours they spent with us sharing the history of the area, rice plantations where the Guana Lake sits, biological/nature findings we really well worth it.

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New York City, New York
Top Contributor
52 reviews 52 reviews
6 attraction reviews
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 27, 2014

$3 parking fee a bargain. Drive in from A1A, water on both sides, egrets and pelicans flying around, people fishing. Drive on, park at the foot of the preserve, put on bug spray, and walk a mile to the Tolomato River. When Laura and I were there a year ago we saw an armadillo; not this time. Lots of birds.... More 

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